Searching for products and services has evolved past the times of typing in the bar of a search engine. Smart search capabilities in phones, cars, televisions, and other technologies have led to a rise in voice search. It also has made voice searching more common, accessible, and convenient for customers and clients of plastic surgeons.
Your services might be easy to find during traditional searches, but do you know if you’ve optimized your practice with the top voice search marketing tips for plastic surgeons? This article will help you understand voice search, upcoming trends and top platforms, and tips for ways to improve your own voice search rankings.
What is Voice Search?
Voice search is a type of search action that requires people to vocalize their query by asking questions or giving commands to a smart device. It replaces the search bar and manual typing and lets the AI built into smart technology use natural language processing to complete the search function for a searcher.
The result of a voice search will appear at the top of a search results page as a featured snippet, above the top links, and the additional snippets that the search engine provides like related searches or other lists.
Simply put, if your web page is optimized for the specific questions that are asked during a voice search, you can jump ahead of pages ranked for traditional SEO and appear at the top of a search page as a featured snippet. As long as your content most closely matches the question in the search, you can win searches against your competitors.
Voice Search Trends
Voice searches are on the rise. More and more people are relying on voice search to help them complete hands-free searches and to use the capabilities of smart speakers to get them the exact information they need quickly.
AI technology takes the time and effort that a client typically puts into online research and searching and processes information quickly. Smart speakers will also read back the response, rather than the searcher having to click through different links and find the relevant information themselves.
Traditional searches return many different results, ranked through SEO in a top ten layout. A voice search only returns a single result. Rather than focusing on keywords, search algorithms and AI tools will find the single best result to answer the question.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that even though your page can jump to the top of the search engine results page by being optimized for voice search, you still need to have a page that is optimized for traditional SEO. Roughly 75% of voice search results will rank in the top 3 positions for the same or a similar question on a desktop search.
That means that there is a strong correlation between quality content that is optimized for SEO and the pages that have answers to the questions asked in a voice search. However, only 4% of local businesses are optimized for voice searches. If your pages are ranked in the top results on desktop searches, you have a huge opportunity to appear first for voice.
Top Voice Search Platforms
Most major technology platforms have a form of search assistant that processes the voice requests that come in from searchers. Here are the top four platforms, ranked by popularity.
1. Google Assistant
Google Assistant is one of the top voice search tools, with roughly 36% of voice searches being run through AI. It is built into all Google products and through many devices, including smart speakers, TVs, wifi, and cars.
Because most searches, in general, are completed on the Google search engine, the Google voice search assistant helps to connect all of your Google information, like your Google My Business profile, reviews, and any photos or location information.
2. Apple Siri
Apple’s Siri assistant is the other top platform, pulling in around the same number of voice searches as Google with about 36% of the total voice searches. Siri is the default voice search application on all Apple products, including phones, watches, laptops, and tablets.
Because you can’t directly control your Apple Maps listings and reviews as easily as you can manage the same information through Google, it is still important to keep your Google profiles connected and updated.
3. Amazon Alexa
Amazon’s Alexa assistant takes up about 25% of all voice searches, primarily through smart home devices and speakers. Alexa tends to pull data from your Yelp listings rather than Google, meaning that in order to be best optimized for Alexa, you need a marketing platform that helps you submit business listings directly to the Alexa platform.
4. Microsoft Cortana
Microsoft’s Cortana processes about 19% of voice searches, primarily from sources like Microsoft products and Xbox. The data is mostly pulled from Bing or Yelp, which continues to emphasize the point that you need to be optimized on different search engines, not just Google.
If you are beginning to implement your voice search marketing, starting with Google is always a great place, as it is the biggest search engine and where some of the top-performing voice assistants pull their information from. But keep in mind that Apple Maps, Yelp, and Bing still matter. Updating all of these areas with accurate information and voice-friendly language is key to voice search success.
4 Tips to Optimize Voice Search Marketing for Plastic Surgeons
Now that you understand the value of optimizing your voice search marketing for plastic surgeons and practices, as well as the different voice search platforms, let’s talk about some tips to optimize your rankings.
1. Claim Your Business Directories
Your business directories are key to ensuring that your plastic surgery practice appears in voice searches, particularly for searches regarding locations, services, hours, or reviews. Your information needs to be updated and accurate, as well as give full, complete pictures of your areas of service.
You can also continually optimize and add new content like updated reviews, Q&As, or photos. This helps all search engines know that your information is correct and that your profile is active.
Other ways to improve your business directories include:
- Responding quickly to all reviews
- Adding featured posts or messages
- Including promotions or deals
- Keeping your location information as complete as possible
2. Optimize Content for Questions
Voice commands are often much longer than typical search keywords that are used during traditional searches and SEO. That means that your content needs to be optimized for the kinds of questions that users ask.
Remember, the search result appears as a featured snippet that can only take up so much of a page. Your answers to frequent voice search questions need to be around 41 words, or it will be too long to appear as a result. Building FAQ pages on your site with short but clear and informative answers is one way to help meet this length requirement.
3. Use Conversational Language
Voice search results are conversational and easily understood and read aloud. That means your content needs to be conversational and approachable. Leave the dictionary at home and use an easy, natural language that can be generally understood by a wide audience.
Think about your customer’s journeys and think about the specific questions they might ask about your services or your practice. Then, think about the ways you would answer those questions aloud if they were asked to you directly in the office.
That type of easy conversational answer is the way you need to think about writing your content and creating your FAQs. It helps your answers be understood when voiced through a smart speaker and keeps your audience interested.
4. Improve Your Website
As mentioned earlier, just because voice searches function differently doesn’t mean traditional SEO can be ignored. The same goes for your website. Improvements to your website will help improve your voice search rankings.
Tips for improving the functionality of your website include:
- Improve your loading time
- Make certain your website is mobile-friendly
- Submit your maps to search engines to crawl
- Avoid confusing layouts, colors, and images
Maximize Your Online Presence and Make Search Marketing Easy
The Surefire Local Marketing Platform is one that has found incredible popularity with plastic surgeons. We can help you maximize your online presence with the leading all-in-one marketing intelligence platform and make voice search optimization easy.
With a team and solid marketing platform behind you, you’ll find that voice marketing for plastic surgeons isn’t an impossible or even overly time-consuming task. In fact, you’ll quickly see results and jump to the top of each page for voice searches. If you are interested in working with Surefire Local, contact us today.